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Jay French Studios

COSTUMES

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flights of fantasy

Making costumes is something I have yet to perform "professionally" for the most part. So far, I've concentrated on building up a few years of experience. The biggest test was making half the costumes for my "medieval" style wedding. I have made over 30 costumes now, working in such diverse mediums as silk, denim, leather, vinyl, velvet and even aluminum! I've made 3 suits of armor, 7 sets of wings, 4 sword scabbards, boot covers, floral hair wreaths, hats, masks, purses and even a crown (pictured below).

The faerie wings are my specialty, and undoubtedly my best subject in costuming. I've recently re-worked the procedure and materials used for these, however, and can make them to be much lighter and less expensive than before (being that they are less time-consuming). Even the earliest were strong, comfortable and attractive, but the newest are even more so. The lighter materials (especially lighter gauge wire or even wireless versions) enable more flexibility and time fort he detailing. These are not quite as strong as the earlier versions, but are still quite resilient. I have yet to work in feathered wings, but I'm all set to make myself a set of black-feathered, wide-spread wings for my "Azrael" costume.

The management at the Texas Renaissance Festival ran me down one year to ask me to sell my faerie wings there & at Scarborough Fair in the spring. My workload has yet to allow me to investigate this arena of my art, but It's still a future possibility!

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The fabulous "Faerie Wings". These are the first (left) & most recent (right). In the first version the wings were attached permanently to the top, in the most recent (the Autumn Faerie) they were worn over the costume.

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[Above] The 2nd & 3rd set of Faerie Wings (for my daughters, Mandy & Taryn). The 4th & 5th were for my ex-wife & youngest daughter, Ember (the black faerie & the white faerie, respectively). My daughters tended to play in their wings a lot as well, which proved to me that they're quite resilient & fairly comfortable as well as being pretty!

armor sketches

To the right, sketches of my hard-to-photograph armors. The left one is the succubus costume which is in possession of the owner, Carolyn Rachel Graves. The right one is mine and needs more professional photographs to capture it.

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[Above] My wife and our friend Wendy Musitano at Texas Renaissance Festival. These gowns were both finished in late-night panics, but ended up looking great.


[Right] My dad playing "The King" at my wedding. The tunic w/attached faux chainmail hood & crown are original designs. The crown is aluminum & started out as a flower basket! It had to be cut open to accomodate his head & trimmed with fur. I'm especially proud of the quilted, studded top (seen in bottom insert)!

[Wedding Photos by Tad Browning]

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[Above] The ushers at my wedding, Sandi DeSorcie & Rob Vranich. Sandi's bodice, blouse & skirt were from a pattern. Rob's tunic is an original. The emblem is The Raven from his namesake.

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[Above] My costume for my wedding. The shirt, doublet, boot decorations, cloak, sash, & sword sheath are ALL original designs.

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Looking for some great medieval/fantasy music? Jay French recommends... ELVENDRUMS

For some GREAT appropriate jewelry:
Gypsy Cat Jewelry